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Apparently Lower Broadway’s Most Famous Honky-Tonk Is a Full-Service Restaurant Now

Steve Smith parlayed the popular tourist destination to full-service restaurant so he can open under Mayor Cooper’s current restrictions

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Delia Jo Ramsey/Eater Nashville

In rebellion against the continued (attempted) shutdown of large bars on Lower Broadway, notorious Tootsie’s owner Steve Smith has parlayed the world-famous honky-tonk into a full-service “restaurant” for permitting purposes, so that he can legally open the popular tourist destination for business with a larger capacity.

Restaurants can operate at 50-percent capacity in the current phase, while bars remain capped at 25 patrons. Smith confirmed to the Tennessean last week that he obtained a full-service restaurant license and expanded his menu accordingly. No menu is listed on the Tootsie’s website or anywhere online, so stay tuned for a closer look at that menu.

The always-packed honky-tonk was shut down again in July, when the city returned to a modified Phase 2. Since then, another variation of Phase 2 allows bars to operated with limited 25-person occupancy and closure at 10:30 p.m. All customers dining at bars and restaurants must remain seated, and bar counters remain closed to seating.

With the current restrictions, Tootsie’s World Famous Orchid Lounge is open from 9 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Monday and Wednesday, and from 10 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. all other days of the week.